The Haitian National Palace stands in ruins in Port-au-Prince after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday.
Displaced people gather in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. The Red Cross estimates the quake has affected approximately 3 million people - about one-third of Haiti's population.
A woman prepares a makeshift bed to spend the night in Port-au-Prince.
We're bring you live coverage tonight from Haiti. Anderson and several other CNN reporters are on the scene, where an earthquake, and dozens of aftershocks, have devastated the Caribbean nation.
Want more details on our coverage plans? Read EVENING BUZZ
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Anderson Cooper | BIO
@andersoncooper: To survive they have had to be. I wish them strength in the difficult hours and days ahead. More reports to come.
@andersoncooper: I've been back to haiti a lot over the years, in good times and bad. It is a remarkable country, the people are strong....
@andersoncooper: flight out of new york at 1am. I bought two cases of water from a cafe at the airport and we are heading to some helicopters.
@andersoncooper: I am in a taxi in santo domingo, dominican republic. The airport in port au prince is shut down, so we flew here on the last....
@andersoncooper: Rumors become facts, guesses become estimates. On a story like this you need to see it with your own eyes..
@andersoncooper: on my way into haiti. We are not sure what to expect. The initial reports are bad, but as we all know, they are often inaccurate.
Follow Anderson on Twitter @andersoncooper
And Follow CNN's updates on the situation on Twitter #haiticnn
Tonight on 360°, Anderson will be reporting live from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a city left in ruins, its two million people in crisis mode. Their lives have been shattered. Death and destruction is seemingly everywhere. Dead bodies are piled in the streets, some covered with white sheets. Other loved ones are missing and feared dead. The survivors of yesterday's massive earthquake are doing what they can to rescue those trapped in the rubble.
"No matter what street you go down in this area, there is someone trying to be rescued. There are flattened buildings with small groups of neighbors and family, literally, digging through the rubble, digging through concrete with their hands, with their fingers. Occasionally you see a shovel or pic ax or a chisel. It is slow, laborious work and it is often unsuccessful work. Many times the voices which were crying out hours ago are now silenced," Anderson reported on CNN earlier today.
"There are bodies. I don't want to say on every block, but it's every few blocks, you see a white shroud on the street corner or in the gutter. And you know it's a body, or three bodies or four bodies. Sometimes they're not even covered in shrouds. They're just laid out like that. I just saw what must have been probably a 5-year-old, a 6-year-old girl, whose body was covered by a part of a cardboard box. It is a somber sight here, " Anderson said.
There is no official death count, but the Haitian Prime Minister said today that several hundred thousand may have been killed. Meanwhile, Haitian President René Préval said, "It's too early to give a number."
But, amid the death, there are stories of survival. Anderson saw the frantic and successful work to free a 13-year-old girl, named Bea, from the wreckage of a building just about a block from the National Palace. She was trapped in the rubble since last night. They discovered her this morning and people just started digging, for hours, trying to get her out.
"You could see two of her feet. You could hear her crying out, and there was a lot of arguing about how to try to get her out. They were, literally, digging with their hands, and just an extraordinary moment, a few moments ago, they pulled her out. She's alive, she's well. Four members of her family are dead. They are piled up right outside the destroyed building that she was rescued from. But it's one small victory on a street that has seen so much misery, " Anderson said.
Darkness has now fallen on Port-au-Prince. Many people are just wandering the streets. They are homeless with nowhere to go. There is no clean water. No power. No first aid. But help is on the way. The U.S. and other countries are rushing aid to the scene.
There are ways you can help.
Just a short time ago, Anderson talked with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the U.N. special envoy to Haiti. We'll have the interview for you tonight on the program.
"They're hurting, but they're good people and they need our help," Clinton said of the Haitian people.
Join us for our breaking news coverage starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then!
Dr. Sanjay Gupta | BIO
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent
Editor’s Note: Anderson landed in Haiti this morning to report on the devastating aftermath of the earthquake. He spoke to us live throughout the day with his impressions of the situation. Tune in tonight for our live report from Haiti at 10 p.m. ET.
Anderson Cooper: The situation in Port-au-Prince is stunningly bad. I'm actually right outside what remains of the National Cathedral. It's hard to tell, frankly, that it was a national cathedral, so much of it is just completely destroyed. We're about a block away from the Presidential palace, which pretty much everyone knows by now has been severely damaged.
But the human drama occurring on every single street is extraordinary. No matter what street you go down in this area, there is someone trying to be rescued. There are flattened buildings with small groups of neighbor and family literally digging through the rubble, digging through concrete with their hands, with their fingers. Occasionally you see a shovel or pick ax or a chisel.
It is slow, laborious work and it is often unsuccessful work. Many times the voices which were crying out hours ago are now silenced.
I've just seen a remarkable rescue of a young girl name Bea. She was 13 years old. It happened about a block from the national palace. She was in a building trapped since last night. They discovered her this morning. They've been trying to dig for her for several hours. I just happened upon the scene about 30 minutes ago. You could see two of her feet. You could hear her crying out, and there was a lot of arguing about how to try to get her out. They were literally digging with their hands, and just an extraordinary moment a few moments ago, they pulled her out. She's alive, she's well. Four members of her family are dead. They are piled up right outside the destroyed building that she was rescued from.
But it's one small victory on a street that has seen so much misery. There are bodies, I don't want to say on every block, but it's every few blocks, you see a white shroud on the street corner or in the gutter and you know it's a body, or three bodies or four bodies. Sometimes they're not even covered in shrouds, they're just laid out. I just saw what must have been probably a 6-year-old girl, whose body was covered by a part of a cardboard box.
It is a somber sight here. and people are just milling around. They don't have anywhere to go. Their homes are destroyed. Some of them have just been sleeping out in the streets or in open fields in tents. I just talked to one man who's just walking around, he doesn't know what to do. He doesn't have water, he doesn't know what happens now. He wants his three kids in America to know he is alive, that's why he was talking to me.
The only thing to compare it to is Hurricane Katrina, but the last 30 minutes, or the last hour that I've been driving, I've seen about 20 to 25 bodies on the streets, and that's just on the main avenues in downtown Port-au-Prince.
Fredricka Whitfield: Anderson, when you arrived a few hours ago at the airport, was there sign of any kind of rescue or recovery effort under way there? Were there people who have arrived from other parts of the world to try to help out, to bring in some of this machinery, bring in some of these resources that are describing is in great lacking there?
Anderson Cooper: I can tell you, in the downtown streets of Port-au-Prince, I see no heavy earthmoving equipment whatsoever. I've seen a few Haitian police vehicles driving by, it seems they are trying to pull other people out of the wreckage and not stopping. Maybe they had somewhere else to go, that was more urgent, I don't know.
But I haven't seen any concerted, organized relief effort. What I have seen is neighbors pulling together for neighbors, family members desperately trying to do what they can to save their loved ones. But you find a lot of people just standing outside of destroyed buildings. You go up and you start talking to them, and they'll say my wife is inside, and you ask, is she alive?
They just shake their head, no, she's dead, and yet they have nowhere else to go, they're just standing there and there's no sign, there's no chance the person will be removed from the building anytime soon.
At the airport, there are small groups of people coming in. I talked to four members of the International Red Cross who were flying in at the same time that we were flying in. But in terms of large-scale, c-130s and the like, I personally haven't seen it yet.
Fredricka Whitfield: Even though the Red Cross people that you ran in to, they themselves, they don't have any kind of equipment whatsoever. When you talk to the number of people there that are looking at the rubble, trying to reach loved ones or have simply given up because their loved ones are crushed, are people saying anything about what their greatest need is? Whether they have any hope that anyone will be able to get there within sometime to help those people who just might be alive still underneath the rubble? Or do they feel rather forgotten or do they feel this is a perilous situation?
Anderson Cooper: This is a city of 2 million people, and right now there's a city of 2 million different needs. Everybody has something different, but certainly water is going to be a major issue. There's no electricity. That's going to become an issue over time. But at this point it's water. It's going to be shelter, and it's going to be medicine for the sick and recovery of those who have died.
Literally as we're speaking, a man is pushing a wheelbarrow, and in the wheelbarrow is what looks like a teenager, wrapped in a shroud that he's taking her to the hospital, because that's what's later on down this street. That's where I'm headed next. I've seen people walking with coffins over their heads. I've seen a man walking with an old lady in a wheelbarrow as well. There's not a sense of what's happening next. People are literally just trying to get through today. I don't even know that people can think about what happens tomorrow.
Fredricka Whitfield: When you talk about on your way to the hospital, tell me about the concern about how sturdy, how safe that hospital is, if indeed, it is still standing? We mentioned a lot of Doctors without Borders' facilities, clinics, they are inoperable, they are simply not safe for anyone to go to. What do you know about the hospital that you're on the way to?
Anderson Cooper: I've heard stories, but honestly I don't want to pass along stories. I only want to tell you what I have seen firsthand. I don't know what the situation of the hospital is, that's why I want to head there next. You plan to head to a place, and you stop literally every block, because there's a person in need and they call out. They see you in a vehicle and wonder if there is something you can do and it's so frustrating, you're only there with a camera. You try to do what you can, but it's hard to describe.
Fredricka Whitfield: Anderson, it's obviously so quiet where you are. Oftentimes in emergency situations like this, you would think that would you hear voices, or people yelling.
Anderson Cooper: I'm sorry to interrupt. Literally right now as we speak, there are two men carrying a small child in what looks like an office chair. the child is completely wrapped up. I think the child is still alive. It's really bad.
Fredricka Whitfield: It sounds really bad. When people are trying their hardest to get to these loved ones, get to this young child that you described, once they get the child or person out of danger, are you witnessing whether anyone is trying any kind of CPR? What kind of lifesaving or lifepreserving-type measures can people do right now when they have absolutely no resources? What are you witnessing?
Anderson Cooper: People are doing what they can. They rescued this little girl Bea a short time ago and they pulled her out and they sat her down on the street. She hadn't broken anything, she was walking, talking, but she was overcome by relief,at the same time. She had obviously just been through a horrific trauma.
Anderson Cooper | BIO
Anderson Cooper: We're just about to leave the airport. I've seen a number of U.N. vehicles, one armored personnel carrier driving by, as well as a U.N. bulldozer. So we're seeing some bulldozers, but not government - Haitian government property.
We're seeing some U.N. vehicles, also some private bulldozers from a construction company, which the owner of the company has put to try to aid people where they can. But again, the situation is really very fluid.
Some streets you walk on, it seems almost normal. People are kind of just walking around, not in any particular direction, not really with any particular place to go.
There's - obviously, businesses are not open. The airport is not open. The scene is just very strange.
It's actually pretty quiet at the airport. A number - a few Dominican military helicopters landed a short timing ago, so there's a small Dominican presence here. But it's just two helicopters, some more journalists, some aid workers have come in, but it's not a large scale by any means.
We haven't seen any large, kind of, C-130s, the kind that will be needed to bring in large supplies. We're seeing, you know, one or two or three or four Red Cross workers, the kind of people who are the first ones to come in to try to assess what the needs are before some of the heavier equipment comes in.
But the situation is - it's tense, it's very strange. We're now basically just organized vehicles, which is a difficult thing to get, and we're going to go start reporting, seeing what we can see. And we'll get back to you.
Tony Harris: Anderson, can you clear up the situation at the airport for us please, I know there is some questions about if the tower is operational and can bring flights in and get flights out. Can you clear up that situation obviously time is of the essence and you need aid flights to come in as soon as possible.
Anderson Cooper: I can tell you probably about six or seven helicopters have landed at the airport Dominican Republic, three or four others as well. There's one fixed wing aircraft which has landed, I think it was a 15-seat plane but it's not coordinated.
The control tower is basically out. It's there, it's physically standing, but it's not – I’m told it's not operational.
I spoke to two pilots who just came in on fixed wing aircraft and they said there was somebody on a radio somewhere in the airport who is trying to help kind of coordinate the landing of planes. But it is - it's literally just somebody on a radio and no one is sure where that person is.
So it's very much up to the pilots to try to coordinate amongst themselves and using visual flight rules to kind of just look for what aircraft is around them.
So in terms of bringing in large-scale aircraft, that has not been happening yet. I talked to one official from the U.N. who's trying to coordinate things at the airport in Santo Domingo and they're hoping to bring in some sort of radar equipment or some sort of control tower sort of equipment that they can then take over the coordination. But at this point that has not happened.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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